Leicester Preview: Bladoun weighted to strike for Pipe
Bladoun has become dangerously well-treated and can take advantage to open his account in the 2m handicap hurdle at Leicester today (3.40) now eased in grade.
The David Pipe trained gelding would have made a winning debut over hurdles at Chepstow two years ago but for falling at the final flight, and posted posted some solid efforts to be placed last year before his form tailed off.
They included a decent third on nine to Le Bacardy in a class 4 contest at Newbury on handicap debut off an opening mark of 116, where after getting outpaced three from home Bladoun stayed on well to be be beaten just over eight lengths.
The six-year-old is now able to race off 16lb lower and drops into class 5 company for the first time.
That gives Bladoun outstanding claims at the weights on the pick of his form, and although this is his first run for 359 days the son of Smadoun is unlikely to be found wanting through lack of fitness given connections.
Indeed, Bladoun’s unlucky departure at Chepstow came after a 256 day lay-off so first time up may be the time to catch him.
The Pipe team are also in good form at present and have a 40% strike rate at the track in the past 12 months (two wins from five runners), and with Tom Scudamore in the saddle everything suggests Bladoun is going to take all the beating in what looks a very winnable contest.
In the 2m 4f mares’ handicap hurdle (2.35), Asuncion has plenty going for her.
The filly was placed twice in France earlier in the year, and was given a stiff opening handicap mark of 104 after joining trainer Rebecca Menzies.
The four-year-old badly needed her first start for Menzies when well beaten at Bangor, but has since shaped with real promise in two subsequent outings.
After staying on from well off the pace to to finish fifth of 15 to Accordingtoscript at Carlisle under tender handling, Asuncion signalled that her time was near when runner-up to the thriving Spanish Fleet at Carlisle last time out.
Although eventually beaten 12 lengths, the daughter of Antarctique travelled ominously well for much of the contest and made smooth headway three out to chase the leader before weakening late on and being allowed to come home in her own time.
The winner has gone on to complete the hat-trick in good style off 10lb higher to give the form a solid look, and the the handicapper has taken a real chance in dropping Asuncion 1lb to what looks a very expoitable mark of 94.
1.00: Wild Bill
1.30: Ringa Bay
2.05: Pearls Legend
2.35: Asuncion (NB)
3.10: Ballydague Lady
3.40: Bladoun (NAP)